Oshkosh Corp., American Orthodontics win top manufacturing awards

Posted on Feb 26, 2010 :: Insight on Business, Web Exclusive.
Margaret LeBrun
Posted by of Insight Publications

Oshkosh Defense Executives accept MOTY Grand Award

Oshkosh Corp. executives accepted the Grand Award in
the Mega Company category at the Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year Awards
ceremony Thursday in Milwaukee. From left:
Marek May, director of
operations.; Jay Walters, vice president for Defense Finance; and Josef
Matosevic, senior vice president, Global Operating Systems and Lean Deployment. (Photo by Insight Editor Margaret LeBrun)

Companies in the New North were in the
spotlight Thursday night at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, winning three Wisconsin
Manufacturer of the Year Awards.

Oshkosh Defense, a division of Oshkosh Corp.,
took the Grand Award in the Mega Company category.  American Orthodontics Corp., Sheboygan, won the
Grand Award in the Large Company category.  Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry Company, Manitowoc,
won the Industry Perseverance Award.

Oshkosh Corp. Senior Vice President Josef
Matosevic accepted the Grand Award on behalf of Oshkosh. He described the
intensity with which the company approached its contract to design and build
the mine-resistant, ambush-protected all-terrain vehicles (M-ATVs) in 2009.

“The contract came on June 30 and we needed
to ship 45 vehicles within 30 days,” Matosevic said. “We knew the only way we could
get it done is through people and with people. So we walked around the factory,
from the chairman all the way down to the entire staff and said, ‘Can we do
this?’ Considering the task at hand –   of saving American lives every day – it was
not a question that we couldn’t. And we did. We shipped 46 vehicles and three
months later we were shipping 1,000 a month, every month. So far, Oshkosh has
beat and exceeded the requirements every single month. We are very proud of
that.”

Oshkosh
Defense was recognized for its ability to be nimble with advanced research and
development expertise, which contributed to its success at a time when many
manufacturers were experiencing cuts in demand. The company achieved 100
percent on-time delivery for all vehicle and trailer production in 2009, at the
same time accommodating the highest level of production volume in their history
and establishing a continuous improvement system that ensures all deliverables
meet customer requirements and are delivered without defects.

American
Orthodontics Corp. was cited as a world-class manufacturer of orthodontic
products recognized around the world for innovative design and precise
tolerances, with an employee turnover rate that is less than 1 percent.
American Orthodontics has over 400 employees. Now in its 42nd year of
operations, the company has had constant and consistent growth and
profitability every single year of operations. AO celebrated a milestone in
2009, and now has an even split between U.S. and international sales. More than
95 percent of products sold to orthodontists around the world are now
manufactured in Sheboygan.

Wisconsin
Aluminum Foundry won the Industry Perseverance Award for its long history in
the Manitowoc area dating back to 1909. Throughout its history as a
family-owned manufacturer of non-ferrous castings, pressure cookers and medical
sterilizers, the company has been an important employer in Manitowoc County and
today employs 327 people. Its implementation of lean manufacturing has
increased productivity by 30 percent and allowed the company to successfully compete
in the foundry industry and weather the challenges that American manufacturers
and their employees face from increased global competition.

Co-Sponsors
of the MOTY Awards were Michael, Best & Friedrich, Baker Tilly Virchow
Krause and the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce.

– Margaret LeBrun

Margaret LeBrun

About Margaret LeBrun

Co-Publisher, Executive Editor View all posts by Margaret LeBrun →